Resigning with diplomacy

It’ll be a bleak day for your company. You’re great and they love you, things will never be the same again. Sob. So you need to cushion the blow – because (make no mistake) there are right ways and wrong ways of handling your resignation.


Wooo! You got a new job! Major congrats!

Now, to break the news…

    Are you sure?

    First things first, are you absolutely, 100% sure about this? Seriously, you gotta think before quitting. Don’t do it in the heat of the moment, after a bust up with a co-worker or a run in with your boss. Everything settles down in time, but it’s not always possible to go back. If this is, unequivocally, the right decision for you, then read on…

    Covering the very basics:

    You’ll need to whip up a formal resignation letter (include your name, the date, the person it’s addressed to, notice of termination of employment, when it’s effective from and your signature). Oh and it’s worth noting than your new employer can actually ask to see your resignation letter, so make it positive and professional.

    Quitting etiquette:

    Yes, there is such a thing. Chances are you’ll be invited to a meeting to discuss your decision, so you need to know what you want to say and how you want to say it. The main thing is to emphasise the positives because you never (NEVER) know when you might need them down the line. So be calm, collected and diplomatic. Thank your employer for the opportunities they’ve given you and keep those emotions in check.

    Dealing with counteroffers:

    If your decision to leave is based on pay, set your boundaries before resigning. Your employer might offer to bump up your pay – or offer you career progression. Would you be happy if that were the outcome? Or are you leaving for bigger reasons? If your career change is based on more than money, don’t be swayed. And don’t ever be tempted to resign purely to prompt a pay rise. Not every employer is willing to counteroffer and you could find yourself without a job when that was never the intention.

    Being a good egg:

    You’re awesome, so your company needs time to replace you. If you’re in the middle of a big project, try to see it through to the end. If you absolutely can’t, work closely with your colleagues to impart all of your knowledge and hand over in style. Your new boss could need to speak to your old boss for any number of reasons and if you leave under a cloud you won’t be doing yourself any favours.

So there you have it. Our top tips for resigning with the utmost diplomacy.

If you want to have a chat about anything, just drop us a line. And if you’re feeling nervous about starting your new job and you want to make the best impression possible, you might want to take a look at our guide on boosting your personal brand. It’s a goodie.

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